by Habiba Iqbal
The Tampon Tax Fund allocates funds generated from the VAT on sanitary products to projects that improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced in March that ten projects which will receive £15m between them from the ‘Tampon Tax Fund’ which is generated from the VAT on sanitary products.
The Tampon Tax Fund is going towards addressing social exclusions among BAME (black asian minority ethnic) women, projects that help deal with sexual violence, it will also be used to improve mental health- among many other things.
“The money generated from sanitary products is being invested in good causes that tackle the serious issues that women of all ages face. It will be used to support vulnerable women and girls and help build a Britain fit for the future.”- Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society.
The Tampon Tax:
The Tampon Tax came into exist back when the UK government signed itself up to join a little something called the common market AKA the European Union.
The idea behind all these countries joining was to make the movement of trade across these members states- much simpler. During this formation period (excuse the pun), tax rates for a range of products went under intense adjustment and by the end of it, it was decided tampons would incur a 17.5% tax, however and by the year 2000 this was reduced to 5%.
It is incredibly difficult to get this tax adjusted despite a vast outcry by the British people who made it very clear in petitions they want this tax demolished.
The reason is that the EU commission now consists of 28 countries and if the UK asks for this matter to be review the EU Taxation Policy, then they’ll need 27 other members to agree.
Even if they don’t UK can utilise its veto to get the countries back to the negotiation table. However the UK doesn’t plan on doing that, there’s no guarantee it would work and now they are leaving the European union anyways.
Therefore, till Brexit kicks in our government is dedicated to spend that money generated from taxation of sanitary products to fund charities and more specifically spend that money on helping its women.
Here’s a more specific breakdown of the ten projects receiving funding from this round of the Tampon Tax:
UK Community Foundations– The ‘TribeWoman’ project within this foundation is set to support vulnerable/excluded women by making onward grants to smaller charities across the UK.‘TribeWomen will focus on three core areas of funding: building skills and confidence, improving health and wellbeing, and building social networks.’
Arhag Housing Association – The BME Women Hub project will alleviate poverty and social exclusion among women in England
Brook Young People – The ‘Let’s Talk. Period.’ project will aim to address period poverty in England.
Rape Crisis England & Wales – This digital transformation project is a new approach to tackling sexual violence delivered through member Rape Crisis Centres In England.
‘Rape Crisis England & Wales is a feminist organisation that exists to promote the needs and rights of women and girls who have experienced sexual violence, to improve services to them and to work towards the elimination of sexual violence.’
Women’s Aid Federation of England £1,509,850 – The ‘Ask Me’ project will improve the community response to domestic abuse across the UK and includes onward grants opportunities.
Hestia Housing and Support £1,000,000 – The ‘Tools for the Job’ pilot project aims to transform the way that employers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland deal with domestic abuse, by improving their HR policies and delivering awareness raising for staff.
The RCJ & Islington Citizens Advice Bureaux £1,090,488 – The FLOWS project will provide online-tools to improve the capacity of front-line domestic-violence agencies in England to provide legal support to women and children
Mind £1,785,554 – This project will increase the provision of mental health peer support for women experiencing, and at risk of, mental health problems and includes onward grant programme in England and Wales.
‘We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.’
St. Giles Trust £1,077,158 – The ‘Footsteps’ project aims to improve service provision to women in the Criminal Justice System in England with mental health and complex support needs One Parent Families Scotland £1,049,590 – This Scotland only project will offer a free support and counselling service for the most disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised women most in need.
‘We aim to encourage and enable parents across Scotland to make the most of the opportunities available to them so they can flourish as happy, healthy and achieving families.’